The Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa, long esteemed in the former USSR as a distinguished soloist, chamber musician and teacher, made his American debut in 1971 at Carnegie Hall with a performance that won glowing reviews from the critics. Heralded by the New York Times as “a performance to make a violinist’s reputation had he come without one”. After an 18-year absence from the American concert stage, his appearances in 1990 at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center were again met with exceptional critical acclaim and confirmed his reputation as a master of his instrument. A prominent student of David Oistrakh, Oleh Krysa won major prizes in such international competitions as the Wieniawski, Tchaikovsky and Montreal, and was outright winner of the Paganini Competition. When he won first prize in the Paganini Competition, the local press speculated he must have been born with a violin in his hands.
After completing his postgraduate work, Oleh Krysa began his teaching career as chairman of the Violin Department at the Kiev Conservatory. In 1973 he took the same position at the Gnesins Musical and Pedagogical Institute in Moscow and, two years later, returned to the Moscow Conservatory as Professor of Violin, where he remained until 1988. In 2009, Oleh Krysa was a Visiting Professor at Tokyo University of Arts.
He is also an Honored Professor at Lviv Music Academy (Ukraine) and an Honored Member of the Japanese String Teachers Association. Currently he is Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
The artistic association “World of Classical Music” founded the Oleh Krysa International Violin Competition to honor Professor Krysa. The first competition was held October 25 to November 3, 2013, in Lviv, Ukraine. From October 20 to 31, 2016, the Second Oleh Krysa International Violin Competition took place in Lviv.
Oleh Krysa has performed in major music centers throughout the world, with leading orchestras and conductors and ensembles. He has also appeared at major festivals in North America, Europe and the Far East. In addition to his thriving solo career, Oleh Krysa was leader of the Kiev Conservatory Quartet (1970-1973), Leontovych Quartet (1999-2003) and celebrated Beethoven Quartet (1977-1987).
Oleh Krysa is also a champion of contemporary music and has worked closely with Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina, Krzysztof Penderecki, Valentin Silvestrov, Myroslav Skoryk, Yevhen Stankovych, Virko Baley, Vyacheslav Artyomov, Larry Sitsky, and Sydney Hodkinson. He has premiered a number of their works and many have been written specifically for him.
He has recorded over 50 CDs on the MELODIYA, BIS, TNC, OLYMPIA, TRITON, OCTAVIA, MITTENWALD, AMADIS, POLSKIE NAGRANIE, and RUSSIAN DISC labels.
Mr. Krysa has served on the jury panel of the Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, Paganini, Kreisler, Joachim, Bach, Spohr, Oistrakh, Lipizer, Sarasate, Lysenko, Krysa, Brescia, Michael Hill, Prague Spring, Montreal, Almaty, Quingdao, Sendai, Montreal and Seoul International Violin competitions.
Oleh Krysa was married to pianist Tatiana Tchekina who has been his partner in most of his recitals and recordings over the years before her death in December 7, 2013.